States of emergency in west, northwest suburbs - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

States of emergency in west, northwest suburbs

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Town officials in at least seven west and northwest suburbs have declared various states of emergency or disaster Thursday morning, urging residents not to travel and others not to venture in because of flooding, road closures and stressed emergency resources.

States of emergency or disaster declarations have been called in Lombard, Des Plaines, Elmhurst, Schiller Park, River Grove, Gurnee, Des Plaines and Villa Park.

At 4:58 a.m., Lombard's acting Village President Bill Ware declared the village in a state of emergency because of flooding and high water.

Lombard has received about five inches of rain in the last 24 hours, which has led to flooded roads, ponds overtopping banks and hazardous conditions, a statement from the town said.

Forecasts anticipate rain throughout the morning, which will lead to additional high water and flood conditions.

The village was focusing its resources on property damage and emergency situations, and strongly encouraged residents to avoid traveling, as many vehicles have been stuck in high water.

Schiller Park has issued a flooding emergency. The village is urging residents to remain inside and off the roads as much as possible. Conditions are in some cases dangerous and some roads are impassable, a statement on the village website said. Residents were urged to contact 911 only if they have an imminent emergency.

In Elmhurst, a declaration of disaster was issued, because of flooding, severe sewage backup into homes, and overwhelmed resources. Short-term emergency shelter is available for any displaced Elmhurst residents at the Elmhurst Police Station (125 E. First St.), Wagner Community Center (615 N. West Ave.), and The Abbey (407 W. St. Charles Rd.).

River Grove is also urging caution with numerous roads closed by high water. A statement on the village website said, "Due to flooding these roads are shut down: Grand Avenue west from Thatcher to West; 5th Avenue/River Road from North north to Belmont. The River Road cutoff closed at 1st Avenue. All park and recreation programs have been canceled, the statement said.

In Gurnee, the town reported that as of 10 a.m., the Des Plaines River was at a level of 10.09 feet and rising. A number of local roads in the northwest suburb were closed, including U.S 41 between Route 21 in both directions, as well as Grand Avenue between O'Plaine Road and First Street in both directions.

A number of other routes in Gurnee were restricted due to localized flooding. The village anticipates Grand Avenue between Route 21 and O'Plaine Road will be closed later this morning. The village and Lake County are both issuing advisories to motorists to avoid travel unless necessary, a statement from Gurnee said.

Homeowner Gary Campbell, joined an assembly line of Gurnee Public Works employees scrambling to prevent flooding damage to his home; a nearly 100-year-old house now surrounded by water from the Des Plains river.

"We'll get around the rest of the house and then we'll just wait it out," Campbell said.

A local state of emergency was also called in Des Plaines. A statement from the village said that, according to the National Weather Service, at 7:45 a.m. the Des Plaines River near Des Plaines was at flood stage at 8.12 feet. (Flood action stage is 5.0 feet). The river was expected to crest at 11.5 feet about 7 a.m. on Friday.

At a Flood Stage of 11.5 feet, numerous homes and streets near the Des Plaines River are impacted, the statement said.

For Lorraine Terbenz in Fox Lake, it could get worse before it gets.

Sot Lorraine Terbenz, Fox Lake Resident

"We don't know," Terbenz said. "It's suppose to rain tomorrow and Sunday."

The storm's aftermath is a first for Terbenz who says she's never seen anything like this in more than 20 years of living in this home.

"Overflowing sink, water all over the place, I'm splashing around, I didn't know what to do," she adds. "I was in shock so I just got a bunch of towels."

And the village of Villa Park declared a state of emergency after about 9.35 inches of rain had fallen as of 8:30 a.m. The village is handing out sandbags to residents and advising everyone to stay off the roads, many of which are officially closed. All village meetings for Thursday afternoon and evening are canceled.

Lake County's Emergency Management Agency says it could be days before the flooding subsides.

"We're telling people at least through next week expect high water conditions and pay attention to the weather forecast because if we get more rain in the early part of next week we could be right back at major flood stage of there's some levels of substance between now and then," says Lake County Emergency Management Coordinator Kent McKenzie.

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